A little over a year and a half ago, Thing1 climbed a mountain, walking up the drive from our house about 2 in the afternoon and climbed five miles up the back of Mount Equinox that divides Sandgate from Manchester, VT. He circumnavigated land owned by Carthusian monks and negotiated a right of way with a bear that literally crossed his path on the way back. He watched as storms went by and took shelter for a few minutes as needed.
But he kept climbing.
Thing1 had been sick for almost a year. He told me later he had kept climbing because he needed that win. I know he kept climbing because, regardless of his fears or any obstacles that come his way, he is willing to keep going. He will keep moving forward, even if he has to go slowly.
He’s going slowly today. He’s stood up for a few minutes and then needed a two-hour nap to recover. The first time, I steadied him. The second time, he insisted I only spot him.
He’ll be standing again today. He’ll expend a mountain’s climb of energy to walk from his bed to the nurse’s station, but, even as I watch him wince as he works to inflate his lungs fully, I know he’ll be at the top. He’ll be walking down that mountain with a smile on his face, even if the sun has long set and he knows his mom is still worrying sick about him.
Because worrying is what moms may do, but climbing mountains is what kids are born to do.